Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin


We're in full swing for October's gourd theme over at the Free People blog. Last week we made Leek and Butternut Squash Hash with Fried Eggs that you may be interested in checking out. 

We went home to Rochester over the weekend we decided to stay for early Sunday dinner. It's a rare occurrence, the drive back to Philly isn't very fun at night but we couldn't pass up such a good meal and a chance to be with family a little longer. My mom made a big pot of vegetable soup with kale that was so simple and so perfect. It was the kind of soup you could eat two bowls full and still want more.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before but kale hasn't always been high on my list of favorite greens. The fact that it's so healthy should be reason enough to incorporate it into more meals. It's been a slow road for the two of us, but I'm liking it more and more over time. That doesn't mean I'm ready to hop on the kale smoothie bandwagon or anything -green smoothies in general are still pretty weird for me, but that is another topic altogether. Smoothies aside, I think I finally have a real fondness for the leafy green, and our big bunch of it found a good home in this recipe. It's also a nice way to use up spaghetti squash if you had one sitting around that you weren't quite sure what to do with. We hadn't planned on getting fancy with the parmesan, but when we found a little hunk of the good stuff, all aged and delicious...we knew it had to go into this. It's a little element that makes a big, indulgent difference in the flavor. 

Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin
Serves 4

1 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed
1 bunch of kale, stems removed
1 large onion
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese + additional for garnish
1 egg
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to tate

Preheat oven to 350°. Place spaghetti squash on an oiled baking sheet and roast for approximately 1 hour, flipping halfway. After squash has cooled, flake out interior with a fork and set aside.

Increase oven to 400°. While squash is cooling, roll kale leaves into cigar shape and slice rolls into a chiffonade. In a skillet, heat butter over medium heat and sauté onions and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine squash, kale, onions, garlic, egg, 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, red pepper flake, salt and pepper. Fill 4 individual gratin dishes and top with additional panko and parmesan for garnish

Bake gratins for 30 minutes, serve immediately.